Brazil's President Bolsonaro says he is taking hydroxychloroquine to tackle his coronavirus and says he's already 'a lot better'

Brazil's president Jair Bolsonaro last night revealed he is taking hydroxychloroquine to treat his coronavirus infection and claimed it was making him 'a lot better'. 
Hours after announcing his positive test result, Bolsonaro showed off footage of himself taking a dose of the anti-malaria drug - which is touted by him and Donald Trump but has not been proven effective against Covid-19. 
Bolsonaro was tested after suffering a fever and muscle aches, but insisted yesterday that he felt 'perfectly well' and credited the improvement to his doses of the drug.  
'Today I'm a lot better, so certainly it's working. We know today there are other remedies that can help fight the coronavirus,' said Bolsonaro, 65. 
'We know none of them have their efficacy scientifically proven, but I'm one more person for whom this is working. So I trust hydroxychloroquine. And you?' 
Bolsonaro revealed his positive test result on Tuesday, telling reporters his fever had subsided before removing his mask as he stepped away. 
The former army captain has come under severe criticism for raging against lockdowns and defying social distancing measures despite the soaring death toll.
Brazil has suffered one of the world's worst outbreaks with more than 1.6million cases and 66,741 deaths, both figures second only to the United States.   
'I'm, well, normal. I even want to take a walk around here, but I can't due to medical recommendations,' Bolsonaro said yesterday. 
The president had told supporters on Monday that he had been tested at a hospital and that an X-ray showed his lungs were 'clean'. 
Yesterday he said he had cancelled a visit to the north-east a trip but will continue working via videoconference and receive visitors to sign official documents. 
Bolsonaro's decision to champion the use of hydroxychloroquine had put him at odds with two successive health ministers, who both left their jobs in April and May.  
Leandro Consentino, a political scientist at a Sao Paulo university, said Bolsonaro would 'take advantage of the illness to advertise for chloroquine'.  
'He's going down a path of trying to indicate to his base of support that Covid-19 is just a little flu', Consentino said. 
However, political scientist Mauricio Santoro of the State University of Rio de Janeiro said Bolsonaro's infection was a 'blow to his credibility'.   
'It will be seen as another example of the failure of his coronavirus response,' Santoro argued. 
Bolsonaro has frequently mingled with crowds of supporters in defiance of social distancing rules and without wearing a mask.  
The 65-year-old has said that his history as an athlete would protect him from the virus and that it would be nothing more than a 'little flu' if he were to contract it. 
Bolsonaro has repeatedly visited hospital since taking office, requiring several operations to repair his intestines after being stabbed on the campaign trail in 2018. 
Bolsonaro supporter Silas Ribeiro said on the streets of Rio that the president is correct in saying the dangers of the virus have been exaggerated.
'Our president is a popular man. He is showing that he isn't afraid to die,' said Ribeiro, 59. 'He is going to have health and get through this sickness.'
Speaking near recently reo-pened shops in Rio, Wesley Morielo said he hoped Bolsonaro's sickness would prompt him to reassess his stance.
'I think everything he said before, of not giving importance to Covid-19, came back against him,' said Morielo, a 24-year-old student. 
Over the weekend, the Bolsonaro celebrated America's Independence Day at close quarters with the US ambassador to Brazil and other aides. 
The U.S. Embassy said on Twitter that Ambassador Todd Chapman is not showing any symptoms but would be tested.
Bolsonaro tested negative three times in March after meeting Donald Trump in Florida. Members of his delegation to the US later reported becoming infected.  
Bolsonaro has come under severe criticism after downplaying the virus as a 'little flu' and continuing to ignore social distancing advice even as the crisis escalates.  
The president has lambasted regional governors for imposing lockdown measures against his wishes which he says will be more damaging than the virus itself.
Asked on one occasion about the high death toll, Bolsonaro said: 'So what? I'm sorry, but what do you want me to do?'.  
In recent days he has watered down a law that would require citizens to wear face masks in public. 
On Friday he vetoed several articles of the bill such as those requiring employers to supply masks for their staff and another mandating that authorities should provide masks for 'economically vulnerable people'.  
On Monday, Bolsonaro also vetoed sections requiring masks be worn in prisons and another obliging businesses to provide information on how to wear masks properly.
Some states have already made the wearing of face-coverings mandatory, but this was the first such law on a national level.
Since Bolsonaro was in a private residence at the meeting with the US ambassador, he did not break the new law - but that did not spare him from an avalanche of criticism online for not providing a good example.  The latest figures show 1,668,589 confirmed cases and 66,741 deaths in Brazil, the second-highest tallies in the world. 
The last seven days alone have seen more than 250,000 new cases and 7,147 deaths, more than many countries have suffered in total. 
It is also feared that the true toll is far higher because of a lack of widespread testing in Latin America's largest country. 
Brazil, however, is the sixth most populous country in the world and its per capita deaths are not as high as in seom European countries.
Belgium has the most coronavirus deaths per million people, followed by the United Kingdom, Spain, Italy, Sweden and France. Brazil is tenth on that list.  

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